Why You Need An Editorial Calendar

By Chris Gardner. Photography by Karina Perez.

In my personal life, I’m not much of a calendar person. When starting a new school year each year I’d buy a brand new day planner, full of clean white sheets and all kinds of boxes ready to be filled in. Then I’d use it for a week and then leave it in my bag. Or, during the last sixty seconds of a session, I’d dutifully copy the info from the course syllabus into my planer, and then never actually look at it when it came time for homework.

And, as you've probably guessed, I’m not much of a list maker either. Sure, I’ll create a grocery list every third trip to the market, and I’ll brainstorm ideas for a specific project. But as far as a master list with the stuff I’m working on, painstakingly synced between my paper notebook and that account on my computer with the accompanying app? Yeah right! It just becomes an end in itself - I’ll make a list of to-dos, not to remember them, but just so I can check them off my list.

All that to be said, I get it. I understand you who barely have time to update your blogs as often as you’d like, let alone be worried about creating a calendar ahead of time. I have lots of sympathy for wanting to be inspired and spontaneous, being able to work on things as they strike you. After all, most of you only need to answer to yourself, so why worry about writing all this stuff down in the first place. Your head is good enough--mine is.

Here’s the deal for all of us who aren't type-A persons: if you’re doing things right, eventually, you won’t be the only person affected by your blog’s calendar. If you start to post consistently, you’ll actually develop readers, and they’ll get to know the rhythms of your publishing. Then some of those regular readers will turn into collaborators, guest bloggers, maybe even regular contributors. And eventually somebody is going to notice all the great stuff you’ve got going on, and they’re gonna want to pay to work with you: advertisers, sponsors, PR representatives. They’ll probably want to set up a call...cause traditional business people still like to use the phone. The first thing they’ll ask you is about how you publish and what you’re publishing, and how they can get in on it.

And if you have an editorial calendar, you’ll be able to tell them. If you’ve taken one single eight-hour work day to plan out how your posts are going to look each week, month, and over the next year, you can tell them, and they’ll want to pay you to do the work you’re already doing. No matter your own work habits, tendencies, and organization skills, your blog is a public thing, and if you’re doing it right, it affects other people. So, give your site what it deserves, and create an editorial calendar.

I’ll show you what that looks like on April 16th at 11:00 PST, and we can work on it together. See you there.